Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Arab Awakening: Syria and the problem with new democracies

The Economist: The Arab awakening reaches Syria

The Arab Awakening.  I don't know...  Somehow I think W. will try to take credit.  While it is not a coincidence that all of this is happening at the same time, I do think that each country is unique enough that, when looking at causes and origins of this unrest, it may be problematic to lump all the uprisings together.

Also, while this may be a move towards democracy in the Arab world, we may very likely find that we do not necessarily like what democracy looks like over there.  We haven't been completely thrilled to date with the way people have voted in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no reason to believe that we'll like it better in Egypt, Tunisia, and wherever else the people succeed in toppling their regimes.

This also reminds me, in some ways, of the flood of new democracies in the early twentieth century that eventually fell to fascist and communist dictatorships.  New democracies are fragile and easily corrupted.

Still, it is interesting to watch.

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